by F.A. Grieger - Author of Chase The Rabbit
This week and next, tens of thousands of high school and college students will graduate from their respective educational institutions full of youthful energy, hope, and ambition. Most will become victims of the remnants of their childhood innocence and naivety. This time always inspires my own memories of what was going through my mind, as I sauntered proudly to the podium to be granted that piece of paper which in retrospect, did not provide an equitable return on the years and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested.
As I look back, I try to put myself in their shoes - knowing what I know now, and thinking about what I was NOT taught in school. After years of instruction and socialization, most will require at least another decade or two in the real world just to realize the consequences of a crucial omission from their education. Indeed, a critical bit of knowledge has been deliberately excluded from their academic program and they won’t even realize it for decades to come. That omission will prevent most of them from understanding what it will truly mean to trade the best years of their adult lives in return for a wage -- half of which will be confiscated by government; and most of the other half of which will be paid to financial institutions as interest on the debts they will have no choice but to incur. Most have already been lured unwittingly down that path, through the “guaranteed student loan” program.
As these thoughts creep through my mind, I imagine myself giving a Graduation Commencement Speech to a College Class of 2015. I imagine slapping some sense into them by revealing that which they do not yet know – that which has been deliberately withheld from their education.
I think it would go something like this:
To the Faculty, Staff, Administration - and most of all To You - The Graduates of the Class of 2015 - and of course to your parents; I am humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to inspire you with the wisdom and experience I've gained since I was last sitting where you are today -- more than 30 years ago.
Let me begin with a brief summary about your generation.
You, dear graduates, are the most heavily indebted generation in the history of civilization, and are also the least likely to be able to pay off those debts. Median wages have been declining since most of you celebrated your 6th birthday, while at the same time, and contrary to what you have just been taught - the REAL economy has contracted rather than grown.
What is the "REAL" economy?
YOU are the REAL economy - your savings, your assets, your rate of home-ownership, your ability to invest and accumulate real wealth. That economy - your net worth - has been declining for more than 2 decades. But take heart, you have out-consumed almost every other country on Earth - combined. The growth in your consumption is what your leaders have claimed has "grown" our economy. Never mind that what you have consumed is gone. You've been trained by this institution that your consumption equals economic growth, and that it’s possible to grow consumption – forever. And here, in the halls of this fine Ivy-League institution, you have acquired the skills needed to consume even more.
You - the class of 2015 - are fortunate, as you are heirs to the legacy of those who came before you.
Your inheritance ?
- absurdity, blather, senselessness, nonsense, bogus theories, and hundreds of trillions of dollars of debt.
The systems, social structures, programs, institutions, and most especially the education in which you have invested years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars of your parents' money -- are mostly worthless scams which produce outcomes contrary to their stated goals. You have not been taught the skills that you will need for survival. You have not been provided the knowledge, and ideas you must have in order to become a confident, strong, self-reliant, and capable individual. You have instead been socialized with the notion that your contribution to society and paying your fair share comes before your obligation to yourself and your own family. Never mind that society is not a thing that breathes, sleeps, eats, thinks, or acts - as your future children must do. No -- society is a label given to a collection of individuals, like this entire class sitting before me. Individuals who have each been convinced that the need to earn your own living, to put a roof over your own head, and to feed your own children - is secondary to what your leaders have told you is far more important -- society. For that reason, you have been told you must consent to your leaders absconding the fruits of your labor - so that they can redistribute your wealth and thus level the playing field of our society - the field on which only they make the rules, and on which only they decide who does and doesn’t need leveling.
Many of you aspire to become one of those leaders in the future, perpetuating those same systems, programs, and institutions. But, rather than following, you should be questioning your leaders on what they have done to you and your parents. Instead, here you sit, aspiring to enter “the work force” so that you can “climb their corporate ladder.” You - class of 2015 - have not been educated - you have been brainwashed.
The systems, social structures, programs, and institutions which you have been taught to embrace don't work. Furthermore, you have been misinformed, through the misuse of language and false-flag tactics, that these systems are something they are not. You have been told that our system is free-enterprise capitalism. In fact, it is nothing of the kind. We live under the most centrally controlled economy the world has ever seen - and with the surveillance state - it is now even more controlled than the former Soviet Union.
In spite of the huge investment you and your parents have made in your education, you have been misinformed about a great many things. For example:
Health care programs do not make us healthy - they make us dependent on the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. The military-industrial complex and the misnamed defense industry do not make us safer - instead they provide surveillance drones that hover over US soil to make sure you haven't run through a toll booth without paying. They fund our intrusions into foreign countries and the more than 750 foreign military bases which create jobs for literally millions of foreign civilian employees in foreign countries - all at your parents' expense. Our "defense" budget is used to fund bumbling foreign interventions and assassinations that are counter to our national interest; which crates more foreign enemies. We are exporting our hard-earned wealth, along with entire industries that it took more than a century to build. We wind up poorer, less secure, and less free.
These assertions would require far more time for me to explain and prove than the time allotted to me for this commencement speech - which should bode the question - why didn't you learn any of this over the past 4 years – right here? Perhaps this university should give all of you your money back.
Nevertheless, in lieu of using my podium to complete the education of which you were deprived, let me instead give you a little example:
The student loan programs that most of you have benefitted from were originally set up under President Lyndon Johnson. The Federal Direct Student Loan Program was intended to provide "low interest loans" (which then meant 8%) to students. Private lenders make the loans, but they are "guaranteed" by the Federal government. So if you don't pay it back, the government will -- with more borrowed money. The idea was to make higher education "affordable" for more of you, so that you could eventually earn higher salaries and with those increased earnings - be able to pay off the loan. And according to The Wall St. Journal, 33% of you should never have qualified for such a loan in the first place. 33% of all outstanding student loan debt is characterized as "subprime."
The student loan program now has the highest delinquency rate of all forms of household debt - including mortgages, auto loans, and even credit cards. It is forecast to go far higher, as students take on more debt. Total outstanding student loan debt is currently over $1.1 Trillion, and is forecast to reach $3.3 Trillion by 2025.
To put this figure in perspective, if you could count out $3.3 Trillion in $1 bills, and would count 1 bill every second, of every minute, of every day, continuously for 24 hours per day, nonstop, until you got to $3.3 Trillion – it would take you more than 104,642 years to count the entire amount.
Have you wondered why tuition costs have outpaced inflation by a factor of 4 to 1? It's for the same reason that the price of a house has inflated at the same rate - because making such a staggering amount of debt easily available to people without the means to repay it, expands the money supply to that market sector - creating a market-specific inflationary bubble.
Like the housing bubble, the student loan bubble has inflated the price of a college education to astronomical levels - enriching banks and universities while impoverishing you and your parents. Just as the credit expansion targeted at housing has made real home-ownership unaffordable for the average middle-class citizen - so has the expansion of student loan debt made the cost of a college education unaffordable without having to take on a level of debt you will have no hope of ever being able to pay off. Making tuition practically unaffordable forces you to use debt to finance a degree, which you have been misled to believe is required in order to earn a decent living. Therefore, most of you will start your adult lives with a debt to income ratio north of 200% -- before you have even been given your first job offer.
And what happens when you can't pay?
"Don't worry, we're the government and we're here to help you. We have a solution for you."
Never mind that the government created this problem in the first place. The trouble is that their solution turns into the exact thing that the program was supposed to avoid.
Their solution is for you to embrace poverty for the next 25 years of your life.
As long as your income remains low, you are permitted to make small, token payments every month (which will not cover any of the loan principal - only the interest). Continue this for 25 years and your loan is discharged. That's right - the government solution is for you to live in poverty for a quarter of a century in order to clear your student debt - even if the principal remains. But don't feel guilty, that principal which the bank loaned to you - didn't even exist when you first applied for your student loan. The bank created that money out of thin air, the moment you signed the agreement to commit the next 25 years of your labor to repay it.
Oh ! ....I see the many confused faces in the audience. I must apologize that this is clearly one of those little tidbits of knowledge that was omitted from your expensive Ivy League education at this fine institution. They didn't teach you about money. You know -- that thing that you spend every hour of your natural life working for - money. You take for granted that it exists, and most of you don't really know what it is.
You're not supposed to know what it is, or where it comes from, or that there are different kinds of money. That's right - there are actually two kinds of money. You all know what a gold coin looks like, although most of you have probably never actually held one in your hand. If our government continues to have its way, you never will. Most of you don't even know that that gold coin is one of the two kinds of money. You also haven’t been taught about debt have you? Well, debt is the other kind of money. The kind of money we actually use in our economy is that other kind – debt money. The kind that can be wished into existence - created out of thin air. That’s right -- it just appears out of nowhere. In the old days they used to print it. Now they just type a number with a few dozen zeroes behind it into a computer, and the money just comes into existence.
But class - don’t celebrate that fact just yet - you yourselves can't create money in that way....you’re going to have to work for it. Only the bank to which you pledged your labor for the next 25 years in return for this education can create that kind of money. That’s called “Fractional Reserve Lending.”
So class, be prepared to live in poverty for the next 25 years.
This shouldn't be difficult. Most college degrees today do little to make you valuable to any employer. And thanks to your leaders' rigging of the economy, you will find it virtually impossible to make any financial progress in your life anyway.
The median household income in America – when adjusted for inflation - has been declining since the late 1990s. Employers, faced with higher costs of regulations like Obamacare, have to find ways to reduce headcount, so good jobs are hard to find. Those holding those jobs today must try to keep them into their early 70s, delaying retirement for as long as possible. The pathetic social security payments they'll receive will barely cover the property tax on the homes they spent 30 or 40 years trying to pay off. Because credit expansion has inflated the prices of their homes to astronomical levels -- so too has their property taxes inflated right along with it. This puts the older generation under a constant threat of losing their home -- so they won't be able to retire. And neither will you. This is how the middle-class is surreptitiously ruled by fear. Fear of losing their jobs, their credit rating, their access to more debt-based money, and the real fear of losing their homes.
And when you finally reach that pinnacle of your career, when you are a seasoned professional in your early to mid-50s, maybe you'll be fortunate enough to finally earn upwards of six-figures. Perhaps you'll be a neurosurgeon, an inventor, or one of those members of society currently facing extinction - a small business owner. If you achieve such success after decades of hard work and investment so that you can earn say $350K or more annually - you will then be a member of the group which you today call the one-percent, and against whom you were protesting on this very campus just a week ago. Only then will you finally realize that earning $350K (before tax) and living paycheck to paycheck -- doesn't make you that much better off than when you were earning $35K and living paycheck to paycheck -- you'll just have a lot more to lose. Perhaps then you will learn that it isn’t the one-percenters who are raking the lion’s share of wealth off of the economic table, but the 0.01% whom you have empowered to rob you of your own earnings and property -- through the government that you yourselves have elected.
And don't even think about trying to start your own business these days. The rate of new business startups is the lowest in history, and the US ranks 46th on the World Bank's list of easiest countries in which to start a business. If you try to risk your savings accumulated over 20 or 30 years of labor, half of which was confiscated from you in taxes - you will be competing against huge bank-owned corporations that can use their money-creation power to finance their Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts franchise right next door to your dream - cappuccino shop. They will drive you out of business and you will wind up working for them as an employee. When you lose your life-savings - you're ruined for the rest of your life. If their Starbucks fails, their bank writes off the loan and simply creates new debt to build another one in the neighboring town. Level playing field? I think not.
Never fear - as your president said during his last state of the union address: “The best measure of opportunity is access to a good job.” In other words, if you can't start a business, you can always work as a stooge for a huge corporation or for the government itself. The ruling class will make sure you are "employable." And either way, your property and earnings will be redistributed, while you will happily consent - because your education has taught you that you must pay your fair share and be happy about your own enslavement.
Eventually you will come to realize that the system is designed to protect them - the ruling and political class - to protect their assets, their businesses, their property - but not yours.
But protect them against what ?
Well -- Against YOU of course !
You are the future - You are the potential competition. You are the ones the ruling class wants to subdue - before you even realize your own worth -- Because if they can turn you into their slaves - you will enrich them, instead of yourselves.
You - class of 2015 - need to wake up from your delusions about how the world works. You are the ones who should want to shake things up and tear down the walls of bureaucracy, taxes, onerous central government, and crippling regulations that make it so difficult for you to start a business, find a good job, keep what you EARN, build REAL wealth for your own families and for your future children, and to become SELF-RELIANT.
The ability to achieve self-reliance is the enemy of The State. They are not only trying to force you into dependency - they are trying to coerce you into embracing your own servitude, and then thanking them for the privilege.
So don't buy into the scam.
You - class of 2015 - should be talking revolution - you should be overthrowing your leaders' multi-trillion dollar debt, pulling out of their phony wars on poverty, drugs, illiteracy, the Iraqis, the Afghanis -- and every other phony war our corrupt leadership has used to justify fleecing your parents of their money and property.
You need to stop the pointless, counterproductive, insanely expensive programs that your leaders have convinced you are "for your own good" - so that you can have the resources to pay for your own lives, your own programs, your own futures.
You - class of 2015 - need to shake off our society's zombies - the millions of unproductive parasites -- those in government who run their dysfunctional entitlement programs along with their cronies who feed at the government teat -- so that you can afford your own families, your own pet projects, and be able to raise little zombies of your own.
You - class of 2015 - need to eliminate your leaders' self-destructive credit-based money system.
Again I see confusion among you.
This is yet another bit of knowledge that was deliberately omitted from your education.
You don't know anything about this do you?
Your professors of economics, political science, and finance never mentioned this, did they?
That's because they benefit from this corrupt system - at your expense. So let me try to give you a brief explanation:
Their system only works by increasing the amount of debt in society - all debt - including student loan debt, mortgage debt, credit card debt -- the national debt. And it only works until the debt bubble gets so big - it must explode.
It may seem like it makes no sense, but there is logic to it - you just have to realize that its purpose isn't to make your life better. Its true purpose is in fact quite sinister.
Its purpose is to make you into a chump -- the banking aristocracy wants to turn you into their bitch - someone to use as a human resource.
When you spend on credit - it favors the existing owners of capital - and those who have existing claims on government money.
Please allow me to explain:
If any of you have spent any time watching the entertainment news media - you have likely heard the term "Keynesianism" or "Keynesian economics," with no explanation as to what that is.
John Maynard Keynes was the most influential economist of the 20th century. Our economic model, as well as that of the EU and in fact most of the world is based primarily on his ideas. Notwithstanding the fact that Keynes was an admitted pedophile, deviant, and Marxist, he wound up as one of the architects of the Versailles treaty which was constructed to deliberately and completely destroy the German economy after World War-I. This created the precursors to the rise of the Nazis and World War-II, during which Keynes again became one of the principal architects of The Bretton Woods Agreement. All of his ideas became policies which led the US and the world down a monetary and economic path that has created this inherently dysfunctional system.
Keynes' idea was that the government should spend money into the economy in order to stimulate economic growth. If the government doesn't have enough tax revenue - they should simply spend money they don't have - deficit spending - and thus borrow that money. What must be in place to enable this? A fiat money standard - money you can create from nothing. Exactly what the government spends that money on is irrelevant according to Keynes. He even suggested digging holes in the ground and then filling them in again (bombing holes in foreign countries accomplishes the same task). It doesn't matter - according to Keynes - if that spending creates any lasting value or not.
In other words, when government borrows money from a bank that has created it from nothing - it gives the money to some zombie to spend on something -- preferably something that is consumed and leaves no lasting value. That way it will have to be consumed again, so government can borrow more, spend more, and so on and so forth. Usually the money goes to a social welfare subsidy, government employee pension, government contract, or to support one of our 750+ foreign military bases, or better yet - a war.
That money eventually finds its way into the coffers of corporations, increasing their profits ... and share prices.
Who owns these corporations?
No - You don't.
Then who does?
Most people believe that citizens own these corporations through their 401Ks, mutual funds, or direct common share ownership. But these shares are subordinate to the real owners of these corporations. Investment banks (like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc.) own and control the lion's share of preferred stock and bond debt - both of which are superior to common shares. As we learned during the dot-com bubble, the telecom bubble, and every other stock bubble that has infected our society for decades; common shareholders are the ones wiped out during major downturns and bankruptcies - while investment bankers and preferred shareholders gain, regardless of the economic conditions.
These institutions are the REAL owners of this nation's assets. And by increasing credit, they transfer real wealth - derived from labor - from the future to the present -- in other words - from YOUR future - to THEIR present.
This is money you haven't earned yet. When you go into debt, you must pledge your future labor as the means with which to repay it. When the government goes into debt - it also pledges YOUR future labor as the means with which to repay it.
Let me spell it out for you:
The government borrows a dollar and gives that dollar to one of its pet zombies. That zombie could be a health industry researcher, a community organizer, a drug addict who wants free needles, a prostitute who wants free condoms, or somebody who builds bombs to kill foreigners in their own sovereign countries. It doesn't really matter according to John Maynard Keynes. Thus, the money goes, one way or another, to a corporation, which registers that as a sale.
If that corporation operates on a 10% profit margin, it records $ .10 as a profit. If that company's stock is valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 20, its stock price goes up by $2. This makes the owner of that stock $2 richer.
So, the government goes one more dollar into debt, in order to make an investment banker $2 richer.
Who is going to pay that $1 of additional government debt?
Our system is designed to FORCE you into debt, from the moment you are able to earn your first nickel - until the moment you drop dead. You will be enriching them, from the fruits of your labor - for the privilege of having borrowed money - which they have been authorized to create from nothing - money which they have created out of thin air.
In effect, you are a slave and have been taught by this fine institution that your slavery constitutes free-enterprise capitalism. If you believe that, you are not only misinformed and naïve, but you’re an idiot.
Like I said class, you should get your money back.
And so Class of 2015 - Tomorrow, you need to get a job so you that can spend the next 25 years paying off your student debt, while also paying for your parents' health care benefits and social security. You need to pay your taxes so the political class can keep their foreign wars going in order that their benefactors in the military-industrial complex will see their share prices continually go up -- as a consequence of destroying lives and property all over the world. You also will need to buy a house, so that you can spend 30 years paying a mortgage lender 3 times its purchase price in interest alone, for a house whose price has already been inflated to six times its real value - and so that you can pay an extortion called property taxes, assessed in direct proportion to that inflated house price. And you’d better pay up, or they'll take your house and auction it off - possibly to an illegal immigrant who has been granted a low-interest "guaranteed government loan." Besides, it's your duty as a patriotic American to allow your home to be held hostage - so that the local government can fund a public school with the resources it needs to indoctrinate your children with revisionist history, and misinformation about America's founding principles.
You need to vote for the political candidates who tell you what you want to hear. You need to work for their companies, and pay their bills, so that your leaders can retire and live in The Bahamas.
Graduates - This is the test you face.
You are about to become a human resource in an economy at the tail end of a 60-year credit expansion.
Debt has boomed. The consumption-based economy has boomed, while our savings, property, and assets have been decimated.
Our government, its politicians, and their corporate cronies, have enjoyed an economic expansion that began before we were born and continued, with only short interruptions - and which has left my generation and now yours - homeless - owning nothing but debts.
My generation's parents got out of school with no student debt. They could start businesses with fewer impediments, and with their own savings. They could buy houses and pay for them in cash using money they saved over a few years' time. They could borrow money to fund their businesses and earn enough for a decent standard of living. They could hire, fire, switch jobs… buy and sell houses… and move from place to place.
They were freer – and richer – than you or I have any hope to ever be… unless you can wipe the slate clean of our debts… our foolish wars and our unsustainable entitlement programs.
It is up to you, class of 2015 - to upend the ruling class's and their government puppets' attempts to hold back the future and prevent you from living rich, full, free lives of your own.
If you don't rise to this challenge, you will inherit only debts, regulations, restrictions, obligations, delusions, prejudices, wars, and a culture of degenerates. You will also inherit a financial crisis – far worse than the crisis of 2008 – and a long and grinding economic depression. Either you find a way to shuck off or default on the debts placed upon you by your leaders … or you will stagger and be crushed under the weight of them for the rest of your lives.
If you do not break free from the deliberately irresponsible and dipshit things that your leaders have done to you… then you deserve what you get.